Sunday, November 26, 2006

Vanilla CD review

The fellows in Vanilla sent me their disc a few weeks back, and now that I'm back from all my travelling (two trips out of town within two weeks...), I've had a chance to take a listen.

First, their lineage is one that I can appreciate. I love Tiny Volcano, and although I'm less familiar with Liar's Club, I have enjoyed what I've heard from them. Vanilla, you see, is basically parts of those two bands (with a member of Jet City Fix thrown in for good measure!). They call it the "tiny vanillacano club."

Second, let's talk about this disc. As is probably to be expected with the "collective" nature of the group, there are a number of songwriting voices to be found on the first Vanilla release, and to some degree the disc comes across as schizophrenic -- especially moving from the lush acoustic-driven "E9" with it's XTC-ish vibe to the novelty quirk of "Teach Your Parakeet to Talk," which sounds like it could be featured on a children's TV show.

Indeed, the whole thing feels more like a recording project than a band. Perhaps naturally, given how much I like Tiny Volcano, I find myself leaning toward Scott McPherson's tunes on this project and I'm less drawn to the songs on which Jayson Jarmon leads, which sound a little contrived.

Overall the disc is creative and interesting, if not entirely inventive. But, it's definately a solid disc and one that any fan of the typical powerpop players over the years will enjoy.

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